Cheri Diane Williams

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Cheri Diane Williams
President year 1987
BSc mathematics, physics
BSc university Converse College


Cheri Diane Williams died Saturday, April 19, 2008, after a brief illness.[1]

She was born in Nashville, Tenn. September 10, 1947, and moved to Wilmington in 1951 along with her parents. She was the daughter of Ellen Shannon Williams, now deceased, and R. Bertram Williams, Jr. MD. Cheri is survived by her father, R. Bertram Williams, Jr. MD, a brother R. Bertram Williams III and his wife Melanie Beall Williams of Wilmington, NC; a niece, Ramsay Williams Younger, her husband Thomas Arlton Younger, III and grand-nephew, Thomas Grayson Younger of Raleigh, NC; nephew R. Bertram Williams IV, his wife Caroline Seals Williams, of Wilmington, NC; an aunt, Norma Williams Stidham and husband Scott F. Stidham of Raleigh, NC; first cousin S. Filmore Stidham, Jr. and wife Anna Stidham of Raleigh, NC; first cousin Susan Stidham Lewis and husband Bill Lewis of Marietta, GA; and five additional cousins.

Cheri attended New Hanover High School where she was secretary of the student body, and graduated from Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, with a BA degree in mathematics and physics. In 1969, almost by accident, Cheri began a career as a professional geophysicist. Traveling through Texas, on a golf tour, she decided to pursue a more cerebrally challenging line of work, and settling in Houston, she found employment as a geophysical technician for the Chevron Corporation, engaged in oil and gas exploration. She gained experience in the fiercely complicated world of seismic data processing, becoming a respected computer systems analyst and software expert. Her abilities, innovations, and knowledge led her to Chevron's LaHabra, CA, facilities as a research geophysicist. Popular and proficient, Cheri was called to Denver, CO, to serve in Chevron's Rocky Mountain exploration effort. There she later accepted a position with a small, but growing and dynamic, company, applying advanced research techniques to energy exploration. A transfer with the company lead her once again to Houston.

In 1986, she branched out on her own, initially using her geophysical knowledge and talent for gold exploration in Alaska. Her immediate success led to the formation of Texseis, Inc., of which she was president and partner. Bringing an unparalleled work ethic 90-hour work weeks were commonplace for her and scrupulous honesty to the competitive field of contract seismic data processing, her company became a popular choice with large and small oil companies, both domestic and foreign. Sustaining the company through the lean years, sometimes making the payroll with her own funds, Cheri managed Texseis through 22 successful years.While her professional achievements in a male-dominated field are legendary, she will be remembered best for her personal qualities.

She became a tireless volunteer in the geophysical societies of Houston and Denver, as well as the international Society of Exploration Geophysicists, contributing to their technical and social programs. Caring and sensitive, Cheri could be found serving dinner to the homeless on Thanksgiving, calling and writing those in need of moral support, or quietly making anonymous contributions to needy friends and causes. Her recycling program was rigidly enforced at Texseis, where no piece of paper, plastic bottle, or aluminum can was allowed to escape its own special bin.

While Cheri was immensely proud of her own nieces and nephews and their offspring, in Wilmington, she was unable to resist becoming the adoptive aunt to untold numbers of children of her friends, neighbors and employees. Pictures of ""her kids"" adorned the walls, desk tops, and computer screens, in her office at Texseis. They, and her many God children, will forever remember her generosity and love. A staunch patriot, she revered the flag of the United States, and saw to it that the stars and stripes adorned the walls and windows of her company. Anyone who knew her would soon learn that her grandfather, father, brother, and nephew were all born on the 4th of July. She treasured, and never missed, the family and national birthday party on July 4th, at the beach, in North Carolina.

A woman of indomitable spirit, Cheri faced the adversity of her last few years with unmatched strength, suffering not only her own illnesses, but the tragic deaths of two deeply loved members of her family, during the same period. She returned to work – at her usual ferocious pace – taking time off only to make a long coveted trip to the Antarctic, with her aunt, Norma. When she returned to Wilmington, for the last time, she left behind an irreplaceable void in the hearts and minds of her many friends and colleagues.


  1. Life Legacy. Retrieved February 25, 2016 from

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